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Having and Being Had

Having and Being Had

ISBN
9780571346424
Published
07/01/2021
9780571346424
Format
Hardback
Price
£15.99
Paperback
336

About the Book

An incisive collection from award-winning author Eula Biss, Having and Being Had is a personal reckoning with the intricacies of money, class and capitalism.

‘A major achievement . . . this expansive and intimate accumulation asks the questions that touch all our lives.’
CLAUDIA RANKINE

'An endlessly absorbing examination of class, our collusion in capitalism and economic inequality. Biss' signature voice is central, pivoting around Woolf, Baldwin and Didion, while proving herself to an extraordinary essayist of their ilk.'
SINÉAD GLEESON

‘My adult life can be divided into two distinct parts,’ Eula Biss writes, ‘the time before I owned a washing machine and the time after.’ Having just purchased her first home, she now embarks on a roguish and risky self-audit of the value system she has bought into. The result is a radical interrogation of work, leisure and capitalism. Described by the New York Times as a writer who ‘advances from all sides, like a chess player’, Biss brings her approach to the lived experience of capitalism. Playfully ranging from IKEA to Beyoncé to Pokémon, across bars and laundromats and universities, she asks, of both herself and her class, ‘In what have we invested?’

Having and Being Had offers us a probing tour of capitalism and class that sidesteps posturing and jargon in favor of clarity, humility, and incitement.’ Maggie Nelson

‘In this witty, genre-bending book, Eula Biss smashes the taboo against talking about money with exhilarating results . . . [and] disarming honesty and grace.’ Jenny Offill

‘Eula Biss’s prescient new book gave me new language for things I didn’t know I felt . . . A brilliant, lacerating re-examination of our relationship to what we own and why, and who in turn might own us.’ Alexander Chee

‘No contemporary writer I know explores and confronts her own societal responsibilities better than Eula Biss.’ Aleksandar Hemon

A meditation on race, consumerism and the American caste system. And a wry, vivd assessment of our spiritual moment. It is no accident that Having and Being Had reads like the poems money would write if money wrote poems.’ Jeet Thayil

An incisive collection from award-winning author Eula Biss, Having and Being Had is a personal reckoning with the intricacies of money, class and capitalism.‘A major achievement . . . this expansive and intimate accumulation asks the questions that touch all our lives.’ CLAUDIA RANKINE'An endlessly absorbing examination of class, our collusion in capitalism and economic inequality. Biss' signature voice is central, pivoting around Woolf, Baldwin and Didion, while proving herself to an extraordinary essayist of their ilk.'SINÉAD GLEESON ‘My adult life can be divided into two distinct parts,’ Eula Biss writes, ‘the time before I owned a washing machine and the time after.’ Having just purchased her first home, she now embarks on a roguish and risky self-audit of the value system she has bought into. The result is a radical interrogation of work, leisure and capitalism. Described by the New York Times as a writer who ‘advances from all sides, like a chess player’, Biss brings her approach to the lived experience of capitalism. Playfully ranging from IKEA to Beyoncé to Pokémon, across bars and laundromats and universities, she asks, of both herself and her class, ‘In what have we invested?’‘Having and Being Had offers us a probing tour of capitalism and class that sidesteps posturing and jargon in favor of clarity, humility, and incitement.’ Maggie Nelson‘In this witty, genre-bending book, Eula Biss smashes the taboo against talking about money with exhilarating results . . . [and] disarming honesty and grace.’ Jenny Offill‘Eula Biss’s prescient new book gave me new language for things I didn’t know I felt . . . A brilliant, lacerating re-examination of our relationship to what we own and why, and who in turn might own us.’ Alexander Chee‘No contemporary writer I know explores and confronts her own societal responsibilities better than Eula Biss.’ Aleksandar Hemon ‘A meditation on race, consumerism and the American caste system. And a wry, vivd assessment of our spiritual moment. It is no accident that Having and Being Had reads like the poems money would write if money wrote poems.’ Jeet Thayil
  • Eula Biss

    Eula Biss is an essayist and author of On Immunity: An Inoculation, which was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by the New York Times Book Review. Her second book, Notes From No Man's Land: American Essays, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 2010. Her first book, The Balloonists, was published in 2002. Her writing has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, an NEA Literature Fellowship, and a Jaffe Writers' Award. She holds a B.A. in nonfiction writing from Hampshire College and a M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her essays have recently appeared in The BelieverHarper's, and The New York Times Magazine.

“"One of the best younger essayists at work."”
- Rebecca Solnit
““In this witty, genre-bending book, Eula Biss smashes the taboo against talking about money with exhilarating results. Her investigation ranges from the strictly financial to the broadly philosophical as she accounts for her life with disarming honesty and grace.””
- Jenny Offill